Did you hear about the Canadian music dude whose guitar was smashed by some over-zealous baggage handlers last summer? And the airline they work for that refused to pay for the $1,200 repair? And then lost the young musician’s baggage – again – during a later flight? These days, flying the friendly skies can make for some unfriendly customer service stories – not to mention additional hits on your wallet. Once-free features like checking a bag (or having one lost), getting a snack, even leg room, now come at an extra price. Why, we’ve even heard one airline was thinking about a “premium” charge to hit the potty. Um, what?
We can’t guarantee tender loving luggage handlers, short bathroom lines or in-flight movies NOT called The Pink Panther 2, but we have a few ideas on ways to avoid unwelcome fee surprises at the ticket counter. First, Smarter Travel has put together this handy guide to airline fees to keep your in-flight costs from soaring.
We say pack less and cram all you can into fewer luggage pieces that you have to check. Better yet, go carry-on only and ship boxes to your destination ahead of time. Snacks? Go all movie theater on the airlines. No one REALLY wants to spend $6 for a bag of lousy popcorn. And no one really wants to pay $?? for a tiny bag of airplane nuts. That’s nuts. We’re not condoning “smuggling” but a well-stashed bag of licorice or cheese thingies in your carry-on will taste pretty good come about 2 hours in flight. Oh, and eat a big meal before you fly. Sometimes the obvious stuff isn’t so much.
Let’s hear from you, travel-savvy Savers. How are you saving dollars when hitting the airways?